Advanced search

Please, I NEED to know if IABU before I take a stand with my in-laws.

(301 Posts)
MyShoofly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:28:36

I have posted about this once before several months ago but am waffling…..I will try to be as brief as possible:

My in-laws sold their house about 3 years ago (Canada). They spend about 6 months of the year snow-birding in the US where they own a trailer in a seniors community. The other 6 months they have been splitting their time with various family here in my city and in another province. They cannot stay in the US more than 6 months.

They never used to stay with us but last August they wanted to use our basement for 2 weeks. It morphed into 3 months due to medical appointments (my MIL has MS and my FIL had a minor surgery). They liked our basement and asked if when they come to our city in the future if they can stay with us again. I gather the step-sisters would move the in-laws between their houses if they had other guests which in-laws did not like. The conversation was in passing – it would hardly count as a conversation…nothing formal. I said it was fine, expecting them to only be around 2-3 weeks here and there.

We asked them to pay us $300 a month last Sept and Oct as they were costing us a fortune in food, water and electric – they indicated nobody else makes them pay to stay with them and seemed to think $300 steep but agreed.

They started to refer to themselves as “living” with us and it became clear they intended to be around for much longer than I anticipated. The basement is not self-contained. They use our kitchen and come up to visit. For my taste there is a lack of space and privacy. I found their visit Aug-Oct much too long. I was unhappy and very pregnant. They were crawling all over my very last nerve and it was clear to everyone.

DH and I bickered about their presence. I believe I was very diplomatic about it but my feelings were quite clear. He simply did not see my point of view. If it were up to him they would live with us forever as one big happy family. He spoke to them but basically made it worse – told them I was hormonal and stressed….to wait and see how it goes on their next “visit”…that I might enjoy their help while on maternity leave with a toddler and new baby.

While they were gone DH and I spoke about this openly with each other and with DH’s sister who was entirely on my side. I thought he finally could see my point of view and that everything was settled – that he would speak to them about their long-term living arrangements when they returned.

Now they are back. They have been here almost 2 weeks. This year they intend to stay with us for a total of about 4 months – half of April, all of May, then Aug-mid October. They are trying to stay in the basement (and avoid me) a bit more. I am trying to be more pleasant and sociable, though I’m afraid I am forever to be thought of as their uptight DIL. I am home on maternity leave so we are around one another a good deal. It’s going fine but my feelings remain the same.

They have changed their driver’s licenses and insurance to our house. They have bought a mini fridge for the basement – today they advised they want to chip in with us for a new guest room mattress (as if !!). I’ve had yet another argument with DH about it – he says he spoke to them and they are going to try to maintain this snow-birding thing for another few years and will try to stay at ours for only 2.5-3ish months a year. I gather they were very vague. I told DH he needs to pin them down on the specifics and that I personally think anything over a month is not reasonable – 2 at the absolute maximum. I told him I need a more specific plan from them. DH thinks this is all fine – no problem. I am the unreasonable one – these are his parents after all.

I find them utterly cheeky. If they really “live” with us then they should offer a substantial financial contribution (it costs us 2000+bills+food to live in this house every month). They should be buying groceries and splitting housework, cooking and maintenance when they are here. As I see it, they don’t want the financial or maintenance responsibility of a house/rental and are just using us to get around paying what the majority of all adults pay – living expenses. I totally resent it. I don’t think I should have to tell two grown adults that they are overstaying their welcome FFS.

What is too long I guess is the question…? Am I over-reacting here – would all of you welcome family to stay for months at a time with no end in sight? One month? Two? How about Three months? Where should I draw the line?

Before I put my foot down…please let me know – AIBU?

LilyAmaryllis Sun 28-Apr-13 23:52:00


It seems like you need to get this agreed first of all with your DH if he thinks its no problem.

Then maybe you will need to give them some time to make alternative arrangements.

Whatever - be clear that they DO NOT come to stay Aug - Oct as they have plenty of time to make alternative arrangements for that time!!

Dereksmalls Sun 28-Apr-13 23:52:35

YANBU. Do you have any idea what their long term plan is? If their health deteriorates and they can't travel so much will they expect to move in with you permanently?

FairPhyllis Sun 28-Apr-13 23:52:59

Also - they may be involving you in insurance fraud if it could be argued you are allowing them to use your address when they don't live there.

TigerSwallowTail Sun 28-Apr-13 23:53:25

Snowbirding is a term for Canadians who leave Canada for the winter months in favor of warmer locals.

I actually thought it was a typo and that they were going snowboarding. I was quite impressed tbh at how fit they must have been blush!

MyShoofly Sun 28-Apr-13 23:54:32

I think part of the problem is that they pay a huge amount of money for health insurance to even go to the US at all - I believe my FIL just himself payed in excess of $8000 for health insurance this past 6 month stay. So while they aren't skint per se...I speculate this whole Arizona scheme requires some big sacrifices (on everyones part).

LineRunner Sun 28-Apr-13 23:57:36

I was wondering about the US health insurance. Their snowbirding lifestyle is really expensive, ultimately, even though they probably have told themselves it's cheap (because they are poncing off you).

It's just not sustainable.

HullMum Sun 28-Apr-13 23:57:50

seriously, just say no. If your dh won't do it. you tell them, it's your house too. I'd be reconsidering my relationship tbh, he doesn't respect you and is making all the major decisions

BackforGood Sun 28-Apr-13 23:59:14

Yes, but that's their decision, their choice.
If they'd consulted you before selling their home, as to if they could freeload live with you for 3 or 4 months a year, you'd have said no. It's not your fault they've made a bit of a big lifestyle choice without costing it out properly, is it?

BonaDea Mon 29-Apr-13 00:01:00

Yanbu. This is a massive intrusion and if it was going to work would require everyone to be on board if you are not happy with it, it doesn't work! I would NOT even be offering up 2 months frankly!!

HullMum Mon 29-Apr-13 00:01:14

getting old is expensive in the states are they going to have any money to retire?

MyShoofly Mon 29-Apr-13 00:01:58

Do you have any idea what their long term plan is? If their health deteriorates and they can't travel so much will they expect to move in with you permanently?

^^Big concern for me. I have discussed this with DH at length and he seems to agree that there should be concern for their long term retirement plans but he doesn't seem to want to address it in a meaningful way.

I told him that in his desire to please everyone HE is going to be largely responsible for the breakdown of my relationship with his parents and theirs with me. If this was my parents I would just tell them - "geez mum you know we love you but we can't live together forever what are you plans?" I don't know what this hold they have over him is but I do expect him to manage his own people!! That was always our agreement.

K8Middleton Mon 29-Apr-13 00:02:11

I would seriously consider divorce instead of having my in laws to stay for longer than a fortnight per annum.

Yanbu. Get rid of the freeloaders or get rid of them all. Awful.

LittleFeileFooFoo Mon 29-Apr-13 00:04:25

Can they bring the trailer up to yours and live in it?

YADNBU, they need to stop the freeloading. Can you and SIL talk to your DH again, try to get it though his thick head?

ZacharyQuack Mon 29-Apr-13 00:05:08

I remember your last thread. You are absolutely not being unreasonable. Take a stand.

They're not needing to stay with you because of poor finances or ill health or lack of options. They just want to prioritise their money for the lifestyle they want, and pass off their living expenses to their son and his family.

Can you work out how much extra it is costing your household when they stay? Present it to your husband as this amount represents X (a holiday/house repairs/childrens' future). Is he prepared to give X up for his family so that his parents can enjoy a cushy retirement?

However, be careful presenting this as too much of a finanical issue (though it is), as they might offer to pay all their living expenses and then your stuck with them, and even worse they may then feel that they have some equal ownership in your home.

The main point is that it is your home. Not theirs.

b4bunnies Mon 29-Apr-13 00:05:34

they have moved in with you. they live at your address. they won't be moving out. they'll spend longer and longer with you.

that's the reality.

AussieDollar Mon 29-Apr-13 00:06:54

YANBU. They are being extremely cheeky and I'd be fuming with DH too. He's putting their needs first and giving you no option but to be the bad guy. He needs to tell them to stop taking the piss, their his parents. My ILs come to stay once a year for 3 weeks and by the end of that we're all a bit on edge, I'd be going mad in your situation.

So they're Canadian residents? Why aren't their licences registered to their Canadian address?

MyShoofly Mon 29-Apr-13 00:07:12

I think I'm hung up on the time thing. People with relatives overseas here often mention them coming for a month or two to visit? I don't want to be stingy and ungracious...they are family. I think they and DH are going to need specific boundaries as all this vagueness is making things worse.

I also think his mum's MS is a big part of the issue. DH (and me too!) want her to enjoy herself as long as she can. That brings a whole guilt factor in.

MyShoofly Mon 29-Apr-13 00:09:25

They are Canadians and have changed their licences, mail etc to our address.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 29-Apr-13 00:11:17

I remember you posting about this last year. The situation is ridiculous. I would invite them to stay for a fortnight whilst they find a nice flat to rent nearby.

marfisa Mon 29-Apr-13 00:12:25

Just reading this makes me tense. As others said, it's your home, get them out! They are being very unreasonable. Falling out with your PIL is a small price to pay for maintaining your family's privacy and personal space.

The fact that they're not paying for their upkeep makes it even more outrageous, but even if my PIL WERE paying for their upkeep, I wouldn't want them staying in my basement (!) for more than a couple of weeks max.

You need to add this story to the thread about cheeky behaviour that has just gone into MN Classics.

KeatsiePie Mon 29-Apr-13 00:12:52

YANB at all U. If you stay in someone's house for 2-4 months, you are not visiting, you are living with them. It's completely abnormal to just decide to start living with someone without discussion.

Since your DH seems to think b/c it is family it is magically okay:
I wonder if it would help to put it to your DH oversimplified, like this: Ask him to imagine he has unilaterally decided he's going to move in with his sister and her family. "Obviously if you are planning to live with your sister and her family, you discuss it with her before you move in, yes? Starting with asking your sister 1) Is it okay for me to move into your house? And IF the answer to (1) is yes then you ask your sister 2) How much shall I pay you to live in your house? You don't just set up in your sister's basement and come on up for breakfast in the morning. Even though she is family. You just don't. Right?"

But neither of those basic practical questions has even been put to you by the people who want to move into your house and that just isn't okay.

If he can see it like that, then maybe first you and he can discuss to what degree, if any, the two of you are willing to have people move into your house and come to a conclusion. And then maybe he can take the conclusion to them.

onedev Mon 29-Apr-13 00:20:57

YANBU - that is shocking! I even think a month is too long! I'd be seriously considering divorce if this was put on me as your DH is showing a complete disregard for your feelings.

Good luck - hope you get it sorted & are able to get rid.

Snazzynewyear Mon 29-Apr-13 00:28:16

I'm in the UK and know a few older people who winter in warmer parts of Europe, being retired, and they get very good deals on hotel rooms/apartments for 2-3 month stays. I can't imagine there aren't similar options near you, so maybe research some of those?

Oh, and YANBU, of course. They stay for months, share your kitchen but don't buy any groceries or pay for food? Knock that on the head.

Dereksmalls Mon 29-Apr-13 00:29:57

I don't think you'd feel this so acutely if you felt you were being listened to, that your views were being taken into account. My PILs stay for about a month every year and this is no problem because we know we can have a dialogue with them about it. For a while after Dc2 was born, they booked into a hotel rather than stay with us because the length of time they stay for would have meant a lot of juggling. Now we've moved and they stay with us again but I really did appreciate how considerate they were.

Kiwiinkits Mon 29-Apr-13 00:30:18

My late Nana was a snowbird! She lived in Canada for the summer months and down in New Zealand for the Northern Winter. She lived amongst her children and their families for about 15 years until she got too old for the travel (in her EIGHTIES!). I think the family reluctantly accepted it, tbh. The deal was that she always paid board. Always. She wouldn't have dreamed of freeloading for that period of time.
If they're happy living in a trailer, then perhaps check out local trailer park/short term rentals in the area. At least then you'll know what they're 'saving' by freeloading off you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now